Hospital Infection Lawyers: Steps can be taken to prevent infection in hospitals

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted October 30, 2009


Many hospital infections are “never events” that can be prevented with simple, effective steps that reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening injuries and potential hospital infection lawsuits. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights both some old tried-and-true infection prevention techniques, as well as some emerging technology that could be employed to avoid hospital infections, such as the drug-resistant MRSA bug.

Washing hands, maintaining checklists and thoroughly cleaning medical equipment and rooms all go a long way towards the prevention of the spread of bacteria and infection, and are simple, cost effective, and could save patients hardship, money, and potentially their lives. These simple preventative measures could also save hospitals millions in medical malpractice awards and legal fees.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, infection in hospitals affect as many as 10% of all U.S. hospital patients. These infections result in up to $6.5 billion in unnecessary cost and result in an estimated 100,000 deaths every year. However, as the report points out, “they are not inevitable.”

For example, the article reports that hospitals that have installed hand sanitizer at regular intervals have seen the staff’s basic hand hygiene compliance jump from less than 50% to more than 80%. While that’s encouraging, the fact that some hospitals needed hand sanitizer stations because less than half their staff was regularly washing their hands before interacting with patients could go a long way to explain why hospital infections, and hospital infection lawsuits, have been on the rise.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 2 million hospital infections acquired by patients each year. That’s not including 1.5 million nursing home infections acquired by patients in long-term care facilities.

Most experts agree that such infection from hospitals are preventable through simple steps and protocols. These protocols can include:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Thorough cleaning of medical instruments and rooms
  • Screening incoming patients for latent infections
  • Creating portable kits of sanitized equipment used in common nursing procedures
  • Bedside procedure checklists to ensure procedures are done correctly

In addition to the old standards, there is a batch of new technology which will make it easier for hospitals to reduce infections, and will make it even more inexcusable when they are unsuccessful at doing so. Some of the emerging technologies include room sanitizing robots, databases showing where a hospital is generating the most infected patients and which surgeons are having problems with infected patients, and antibacterial baths for patients most at risk.


The medical malpractice lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential claims for injuries caused by hospital infections throughout the United States. If you, a friend or family member have suffered a severe or fatal injury as a result of an infection from hospital negligence, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

3 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Shirley says:

    I had a cancer related mastectomy 11-16-2011. December 8, 2011 I was admitted to the hosp;ital with a staff infection. I stayed in the hospital eight days. I almost died, kidney failure so bad they wanted to put a dialisis post in me. I was told the staff was in my drainage tube. I haven’t been able to work since this illness.

    Posted on February 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm

  • John says:

    I had surgery in march and got a staph infection and the hospital never told me my ortho surgen told me

    Posted on April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  • Dan says:

    I had a blockage in my leg went to hospital got mrsa after that almost died my stents were infected had to take veins from my legs and rebuild my aorta take veins from my colon and but in legs I can barely walk so I think I’m goin to seek a lawyers advice

    Posted on March 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

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